What an awful last couple of months this has beem for hockey.
On May 13, New York Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard was found dead at 28. The cause of death was ruled to be a lethal mix of alcohol and oxycodone. His brother, Aaron was charged was charged with unlawful distribution of a controlled substance.
On August 15, Winnipeg Jets enforcer Rick Rypien committed suicide. Rypien had been suffering with depression for years.
Then, on August 31st, recently retired enforcer Wade Belak also committed suicide. Belak was in the middle of competing on the Canadian figure skating reality show Battle of the Blades (Dancing with the Stars on ice). He also had taken a position to begin broadcasting for the Nashville Predators.
Then, the worst came this morning, almost the entire Russian team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, as well as coaches were killed in a plane crash, just after takeoff. The team was traveling from their home town, just outside of Moscow, to Minsk, Belarus to begin their season on Saturday. Ex-NHLers Pavol Demitra (847 NHL games), team captain Karel Rachunek (371 games), Ruslan Salei (917 games), Karlis Skrastins (832 games) and Josef Vasicek (460 games plus 2006 Stanley Cup) all died.
The only survivor from the team is defenseman Alexander Galimov who is currently in a coma with burns to 80% of his body.
What an awful season. No word yet on what the Kontinental Hockey League will do about the team's situation. Hopefully this is the last bad news that the hockey world will see.